The Peace Process Scam

Pres. Trump has sent his representatives, Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt, to the region again to see if they can revive the peace process.  Actually they would need to resuscitate it because it has been dead for a long time.  And anyone knowing the details of the situation will realize that, as with resuscitating a dead person, this game is not feasible.  Every time the possibility of a real peace compromise comes close the Palestinians manage to evade it.

This time they are considering dissolving the Palestine Authority (PA) that has been their representative entity that was established by the Oslo Accords in 1994 as a step in the direction of a possible Palestine State.  But, State-building is not their thing, they are more concerned with destroying a State – Israel – than with building one.  In order to do this they have lied and prevaricated.  They have been split into many factions, each trying a different strategy to destroy Israel.  The Fatah faction of the PLO, that runs the PA, has the strategy of pretending to want peace, while at the same time inciting violence against Israelis, sponsoring terrorism and educating their children to hate Jews.  Hamas that controls Gaza has no such reservations, they are at war with Israel and they openly proclaim their intention to destroy Israel with no pretensions.  They fire rockets from Gaza at Israeli population centers and have waged several wars.

The leader of Fatah and the PA is Pres. Mahmud Abbas, who at 82 years old is past his sell-by date, he should have retired years ago, but cannot.  He has no selected successor and cannot allow elections since they will end in violence.  He cannot make any moves towards peace that would be seen as concessions to Israel or the US and he would end up dead, assassinated probably by Hamas.  His regime is illegal, corrupt and incompetent. His people know it, but can’t do anything about it.  His main aim now its to avoid a violent end and to retire with his ample funds stolen from the donations that the EU and US continue to lavish on an intransigent and unrepentant community.

Taylor Force was a former US marine on a course in Israel who was stabbed to death in Tel Aviv by a Palestinian terrorist.  The terrorist was shot dead but his family are being paid a large sum each month, a subsidy that supports terrorism.  The funds for these payments to terrorists and their families comes from the aid that the US and others pay the PA.  At last someone is doing something about this.  The “Taylor Force Act” that is before the Senate would stop all aid payments to the PA until this financial support for terrorism stops.  Not one Democrat has signed on to support this Act, so we see where their interests lie.  Let’s hope it passes and the PA loses all its support, as well as UNRWA that subsidizes terror in Gaza and the so-called refugee camps, and let’s hope the PA collapses.  Then we will see the true reality of the situation, that the US and other western countries are subsidizing the terrorist murders of Israeli Jews.

 

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The Exception

The Exception” is a recent movie with an interesting premise.  I did not know that Kaiser Wilhelm II, who was the German King during WWI, and who was ousted in 1918 at the end of the war as part of the Allies demands on Germany, actually continued to live in exile in Holland.  When Hitler took over as Chancellor in 1933 he continued to pay the Kaiser his civil salary.  But, when the Nazis invaded Holland, they sent an SS officer to ensure that the Kaiser was protected.  In the movie this SS officer is a sympathetic character who has suffered during the fighting on the Eastern Front, and is having doubts about the Nazis.

He encounters a pretty young new maid in the Kaiser’s household, with whom he has an affair.  Although she is Dutch, she has a dark complexion, and I immediately realized she was Jewish.  If I knew, then why didn’t the characters in the movie, including the SS officer, the Kaiser, played admirably but too sympathetically by Christopher Plummer, his wife and his Chief of Staff also have their suspicions.  It also turns out that she is a British agent sent by Winston Churchill no less.  It stretches the border of credulity to believe that the British would send a Jewish girl to contact the Kaiser, but its a movie.  I suppose in war-time, they needed someone who spoke Dutch and knew the area, etc.  OK, so if we accept that premise, then the movie is well done and entertaining.

Her mission is to contact the Kaiser and persuade him not to throw his lot in with the Nazis and then after the War the British might consider restoring him to the throne.  At the same time the Nazis appear to be offering him a possible restoration, but he would have to move to Berlin.  This is a ruse by the Nazis to take control of him, and he is warned and decides not to go.  So mission accomplished.  It so happens that the Kaiser died in 1941 and the monarchy was not restored in Germany.

What happens to the characters in the movie is engrossing, but this particular SS Officer is supposed to be “the exception” in that he is humane.  There were in fact a few documented cases of so-called humane Germans: Kurt Gerstein in the play “The Deputy” by Rolf Hochhuth was an actual SS Officer who wrote a report about the gas chambers in Auschwitz and died under mysterious circumstances; the Wehrmacht Officer Wilm Hosenfeld portrayed in the movie “The Pianist,” basically saved the life of Wadyslaw Szpilman, who was the pianist.  There may have been a few more, but they were really exceptions.

 

Aliyah and Terrorism

Aliyah is the general term in Hebrew for Jews to move to Israel.  It literally means “going up” since the Holy Land is supposed to be on a higher plane than the Diaspora.  Around Netanya one cannot help but notice the huge influx of French people.  French is now the predominant language spoken in the town center and there are many French-style bistros, patisseries, and charcuteries around town.  The price of apartments has gone up and French people are buying stores and restaurants and making a go of it.  These are people who have had enough with the rising anti-Semitism in France, mainly fueled by Islamic hatred.

Similarly in a poll carried out by the British Campaign Against Anti-Semitism in 2015-7 and recently reported on Sky News and the Jerusalem Post, about 31% of British Jews said they had considered or are considering leaving the UK (most for Israel), about 39% said they no longer felt safe in the UK, 59% said they felt the Government was not doing enough to protect them and a full 83% agreed that the Labour Party is anti-Semitic.  One woman interviewed said she had recently experienced an anti-Semitic incident for the first time and she was now planning to move to Israel and she said she expected a major outbreak of violent anti-Semitism in the UK within ten years.  This is against a supposed backdrop of a 9% decrease in anti-Semitic incidents in the past year.

But, also let’s face facts, European Jews from relatively civilized countries would not be coming here en famille unless they expected they could make it in a relatively affluent country, which Israel is.  We have all the makings here, a growing young population, an industrious and innovative people and also a large lower class of unskilled workers (the Arabs).  Yes, the US has its Blacks and Mexicans, the EU has its Muslim immigrants and Israel has its Palestinians.  Most of them would be happy if Israel could set up companies on the West Bank and then they wouldn’t have to travel for hours to jobs in Israel.  But, the intransigence of the Palestinian political elite prevents that.  They still resort to crude terrorism, even though they will never achieve their goal of destroying Israel.  On the contrary, the upsurge of Islamic-inspired terrorism in Europe is helping to strengthen Israel.

Expediency

Jews are generally motivated more by sentiment and faith than by political expediency. This can be a fault that is endemic in the Israeli body politic, as well as elsewhere.  Let me explain what I mean by expedient, that which accomplishes a goal in a self-interested manner, without consideration for the concerns of others and particularly for those of an enemy.   As an example of a non-expedient act I would categorize the transfer of authority over the Temple Mount by Gen. Moshe Dayan, then Israeli Defense Minister, to the Muslim Trust, the Wakf, after winning the Six-Day War of 1967.  This was a unilateral act that was done because Dayan thought he knew the Arab mind (he was very arrogant) and decided that they would be “grateful” if he gave them this undeserved gift after they had been so totally defeated.  It has been a bone in our throat every since, causing enormous trouble and friction.

But, sometimes expediency is shown by Israeli politicians, for example, when PM Netanyahu decided to abandon the agreement that was in the making to allow Conservative and Reform Jews to pray at the Western Wall.  The compromise solution was dumped by Netanyahu because the ultra-Orthodox members threatened to bring his fragile coalition government down if he went ahead.  He had to face the prospect of either losing his government and facing an election or dropping the Western Wall compromise. In a show of expediency he chose the latter.  What American liberal Jews who sharply criticized this decision don’t realize is that it is very likely that an election would bring in an even more right-wing government than we now have.  That would really have upset them.

In general, in dealing with the Arabs, Israel would do better to stick to what is expedient and in its own interests than considering their situation, such as the “humanitarian crisis” that is always being threatened.  They have made their own bed, let them lie in it. This lack of expediency was also a fault of Pres. Obama, he was too considerate of the other fellow’s point of view, be it Iran, N.Korea, China or Russia (in Syria).  Let’s hope Pres. Trump is made of sterner stuff.

Freedom of Assembly

Remember that neo-Nazis too are guaranteed freedom of speech and assembly in a liberal democracy.   It only breaks down when they are responsible for hate speech against any other group (Blacks or Jews) and/or inciting violence.   Remember that they marched in Skokie, Ill, and the official Jewish Community recognized their right to march.  I well remember in the 1970’s when the neo-Nazis came from their HQ in Virginia to march in Washington DC.  As long as they had a permit they were protected (ironically) by the predominately Black police force.  But, if they infringed the regulations, they were quickly shut down and dispersed.

Once they planned to disrupt a Jewish Community Council march in support of Israel (how did we find out, that’s a secret) of which I was the organizer.  I arranged for a group of activist Jewish students from the local campuses to be present to provide protection. But, these were not just passive guards, they were trained, some of them had black belts and one was an expert with a nun-chuk (a fiendish weapon).  When the neo-Nazis showed up our guards attacked them and forced them to withdraw, meanwhile others had been assigned to slash their tires.  When they raced back to their cars they could not escape, they were beaten soundly and never came back.  You might ask where were the police during this ruckus, they just stood back and watched.

While I admit there is a fine line between a defensive reaction and an offensive attack, there is a difference.  The removal of the statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee was initiated by the left and the Blacks. When the KKK, neo-Nazis and White Supremacists marched in Charlottesville against that removal of the Lee statue they were attacked by the organized hard-left antifa trained cadres.  The liberal-left biased media tend to ignore this fact, but I agree with Pres. Trump, both extremes deserve censure.

Note that the antifa, the hard-left vigilantes, do not simply fight the fascists, their aim is to take over the government, destroy capitalism and democracy and bring in a socialist regime that resembles the former Soviet Union (an abject failure) and Venezuela (that has just become a dictatorship of the Party and its Secty. Gen.)  To ignore the role of these leftist thugs in the current situation and to romanticize it is a failure of realism that could have significant consequences.  There are many good people in Virginia who are not extremists, who are not racists, who would like to see the statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee left alone and who demonstrated peacefully.  These people will continue to support Pres. Trump.

Tearing down statues

After the defeat of Communism in the Soviet Union almost all statues of Lenin, Stalin and similar pro-communist monuments were torn down.  I well remember arguing with our guide (no doubt a KGB agent) when we were being shown around Novosibirsk in 1989, just after perestroika was introduced by Gorbachev.  She proudly showed us the huge monumental statues of workers and peasants standing outside the train station in the center of the city.  Everyone admired them, but I said they were ugly manifestations of communist realism and they would be torn down one day.   She was shocked, but I was right.  In Moscow and other cities in Eastern Europe some of the statues were relocated to a park outside the city where they can still be viewed if someone wants to see them.

We shouldn’t forget the tearing down of the statues of Saddam Hussein when the US defeated his army in Iraq, and those of countless other dictators (Mussolini, Ceacescu, Idi Amin, and so on).  But the situation in the US is different.  The civil war between North and South is still a wound in the body politic of the USA.  I was surprised to find that many of the statues of Southern leaders were erected comparatively recently, mainly as a reaction against the civil rights movement.  But, statues are convenient symbols and I totally oppose groups of vigilantes pulling down statues by their own decisions.

It may be that statues of Confederate soldiers are inappropriate, for example in Baltimore.  But, I lived in Maryland, and Maryland was a divided border state during the Civil War.  Baltimore was pro-Northern and the hinterland was pro-Southern.  Rockville, Maryland, which was a small town during the civil war, was the closest that Confederate forces came to the capital, Washington DC.  They occupied Rockville in 1863 and were then driven out by Union forces.  There is a statue of a Confederate soldier standing near the court-house in Rockville to commemorate this event.  It would be unfortunate if a crowd gathered and tore down this statue.  Be careful when you start taking the law into your own hands and tearing down symbols that you don’t like.  Others too can play that game, and then where are you?

We don’t want to see statues of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, not to mention other historical figures, pulled down unilaterally because they were slave-owners, capitalists, or merely objectionable.

 

 

Attacks in Barcelona

The Muslim terrorist attacks in Barcelona and nearby sites this week killed 14 and injured at least 80.  When will they learn?  The Ramblas, with large crowds of tourists strolling along the pedestrian street, was a perfect target for this kind of ramming attack. After the ramming attacks in Jerusalem, where they started in 2008, and in Nice (86 killed), London Bridge (8 killed), and Berlin (12 killed) as well as Paris (altogether 130 killed), you would think that the authorities in the major cities would take some minimal precautions against such attacks.  Wikipedia lists over 30 such ramming attacks around the world (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vehicle-ramming_attack).  But the Ramblas was not protected at all with any kind of safety guards against this kind of ramming attack.   Now that more people are dead you can be sure they will install some kind of barrier against vehicles entering the Ramblas walkway.  At least install some kind of bollards or railings as they did on London Bridge after the event.  Another case of shutting the door after the horse has bolted!

That is the first major alteration that the Western countries need to make to adapt to the ever-present Muslim terrorism danger.  This time it was claimed by the Islamic State, that practically no longer exists, but has exported its fighters all around the world, often to whence they came from.  The other major adaptation is to obtain better intelligence by interrupting the plans of these Muslim terrorists by profiling them and listening in to all their conversations, especially international ones.  This is war and many lives are at stake, so the most expedient methods must be employed.  Apparently there was a fairly large group of 10 or more Arabs sharing an apartment in a suburb of Barcelona and keeping in close contact with each other and people abroad and they went undetected while they planned several terrorist attacks.  So much for taking elementary precautions.

This is a general warning, people should not go on vacation anywhere where there are crowds where they have not taken elementary precautions against vehicular ramming attacks, and where security personnel are not present with guns in sufficient numbers.   Once again let me remind you this is war against the forces of jihadi Islam and all necessary precautions must be taken.  If they begin to lose tourist dollars the authorities may start to take this terrible threat seriously.